REVIEW: Palo on the Disney Dream

by | Dec 9, 2022 | DCL Food, Disney Cruise Line, Disney Dream

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The ultimate experience aboard any adult Disney Cruise Line sailing is undoubtedly dining in Palo or Remy. Both dining locations are adult-exclusive and offer elevated culinary experiences that take dining aboard a Disney Cruise Line ship to an unmatched level. There is a dress code, but it’s not too restrictive.

I recently sailed aboard the Disney Dream and was lucky enough to secure a reservation at Palo! With two ways to dine in the gorgeous restaurant, let’s dive into a review of Palo dinner!

Photo by Maria Salerno

Atmosphere and Design

When you first enter Palo, it’s abundantly clear that this restaurant is a step above the main dining locations. The entry is crowned with a gorgeous hand-blown chandelier that immediately sets the tone. Look familiar? Palo is an Italian restaurant, after all, and the chandelier is designed to look like spaghetti and meatballs

Photo by Maria Salerno

Next, the floor-to-ceiling windows invite you to move into the space further, granting breathtaking views of the open ocean from each and every table. 

Photo by Maria Salerno

‘Palo’ is the Italian word for the poles used by the Venetian gondoliers to push the boats through the canals. The Italian-inspired design queues span the entirety of the space. 

Tables draped in white clothes and linens signify the elegance of the space. As we were seated, our server pulled out our chairs and placed our napkins on our laps, letting us know it is time to begin!  

Photo by Maria Salerno

Pre Fixe or A La Carte

We were presented with physical menus (the main dining utilizes QR code menus) that led to our first choice of the meal: did we want to dine from the pre-fixe menu ($45 for 4 courses), or dine from the a la carte menu

Both members of my party chose the a la carte menu, as I wanted to ensure that I had ample options to taste as much as I could. 

Note: The a la carte menu includes everything that’s on the pre-fixe, plus additional options. 

Photo by Maria Salerno

Bread and Bottle Service

Our extremely knowledgeable server Svetjlana was a true highlight of this experience. She guided us through the menu, made expert recommendations, and was able to quickly identify our preferences based on her 8+ years of serving experience. 

We brought a bottle of wine with us, and as she opened the bottle to let it breathe, reminded us of the $25 corkage fee. There are ample bottles and glasses of wine to purchase at the Palo too!

Next, the chef sent a hot bread basket to our table. Featuring hand-made dough, the light and airy bread was piping hot and coated in an unbelievable herbed pesto

Photo by Maria Salerno

Appetizers

In a departure from the usual way or ordering, my party and I opted to share three sides as our appetizers. We ordered pan roasted wild mushrooms, grilled asparagus with ricotta salata, and fried yukon potatoes. 

Before the appetizers hit the table, we were presented with a welcome tasting, courtesy of the chef. We were served a lightly fried gnocco (the singular form of the word ‘gnocchi’) in a rich mushroom sauce, topped with parmesan cheese. The gnocco was tender and had a lovely potato texture that served as a beautiful vessel for the rich sauce and cheese. What a way to kick things off!

Our appetizers arrived together. I was shocked at how large the portions were, and for only $4 each, these were definitely big enough to share between two. 

Photo by Maria Salerno

The grilled asparagus with ricotta salata was grilled to perfection. It maintained a great snap, and the flavors of the lemon and olive oil were very apparent. 

Photo by Maria Salerno

The yukon potatoes were presented in what I like to call a culinary form of jenga! Fried perfectly and stacked, the potatoes were piping hot and salty. Again, the flavor was excellent here.

Photo by Maria Salerno

My favorite were the pan roasted wild mushrooms. The mushrooms, pan-cooked in a pinot grigio and thyme broth, were the most flavorful mushrooms I’ve ever tasted. Each mushroom was so packed with flavor, that you are truly forced to really slow down and enjoy each and every flavor that you are presented with. 

As far as the appetizers went, ‘flavor’ was the big theme. Each dish was explained beautifully by our server, and she always made sure that we were tasting the food with the wine we brought to maximize the dining experience

Photo by Maria Salerno

The Entree Surprise of a Lifetime

My party and I opted for two entrees. On our server’s recommendation, we went for the penne with san marzano tomatoes, chilis, and parmesan. The freshness of the sauce is really what stuck out to me here. Our server let us know that Palo prepares each of its dishes to-order: meaning no large batch cooking exists here! 

Our penne was made in its own pan, just for us. The tomatoes were bursting with flavor and again, I was blown away at how well the flavor of the sauce paired with our red wine. 

Photo by Maria Salerno

This was my first ever DCL sailing, and I had heard great things about the Palo mushroom risotto. After tasting the unbelievable mushroom appetizer, I asked our server why I wasn’t seeing this famed risotto on the menu. 

She informed me the recipe was so popular, that it was removed from the Dream’s Palo menu…and is now a fixture on the Disney Wish’s Palo menu. So I was unfortunately out of luck.

But I needn’t have fretted. Our incredible server went out of her way to ask the chef if he would make the off-menu mushroom risotto for us anyway…and he was glad to do so!

I couldn’t thank both the chef and our server enough for making us the risotto- it truly was one of the best dishes I have ever had. Creamy, rich, and topped with copious amounts of shaved parmesan, it was clear just how much love and attention went into the preparation of this dish. 

Photo by Maria Salerno

After dinner, we were given an included post-dinner, citrus-y alcoholic sorbet. The drinkable dessert was the perfect finisher to the meal and perked us both back up after a very indulgent meal. 

Important Notes

  • Palo is an adult-exclusive restaurant, so all guests must be 18 years or older.
  • Palo has a dress code: Men are asked to wear a button shirt, jacket, or nice polo shirt with dress pants/slacks/good condition jeans with no holes, and shoes. Women can wear dresses, pantsuits, or skirts.
  • Allow yourself 1.5 hours to enjoy this dining experience. If you have little ones who need the nursery or kids club, I recommend booking the same length of time.

Final Thoughts

From my first step in the door, the service at Palo was unmatched. Our server Svetjlana not only made our experience at Palo unforgettable, but she also went out of her way to pre-order us a dish for our next main dining seating.

She actually called our main dining head server and let him know how we liked to eat and what we would like to try when we returned to main dining the following evening. I have never experienced this level of service at any restaurant on land!

As far as the food goes, I STILL talk about my Palo meal quite often! No flavor was too strong, but in each of the dishes, I was able to detect multiple layers of evolving flavors that surprised and delighted my palate. 

We were encouraged to really slow down and savor the flavors of each dish, and I loved the care and attention to each and every dish that came out of the kitchen. 

Overall, I would highly recommend booking a reservation at Palo on any upcoming DCL sailing!

REVIEW: Remy on the Disney Dream

Disney Wish Cove Café – Review, Photos, and Menu

Written by Maria Salerno

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Maria is a proud WDW Magazine columnist and blog contributor. After holding a WDW Annual Pass in the Northeast USA for 4 years, she recently moved just 5 minutes from Walt Disney World to be as close as possible to her favorite place on earth! Maria is a Certified Disney Travel Agent and private music instructor. Next time you visit WDW, keep your ears open, you just might catch Maria singing and playing guitar at Epcot or Disney Springs!
Maria Salerno

Written by Maria Salerno

Maria is a proud WDW Magazine columnist and blog contributor. After holding a WDW Annual Pass in the Northeast USA for 4 years, she recently moved just 5 minutes from Walt Disney World to be as close as possible to her favorite place on earth! Maria is a Certified Disney Travel Agent and private music instructor. Next time you visit WDW, keep your ears open, you just might catch Maria singing and playing guitar at Epcot or Disney Springs!